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    Quote of the month  

"The net's a cross between an elephant and a white elephant sale: it never forgets, and it's always crap."

– Nemo, writing for Suck, on the nature of the Internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Actrix Online Informer is published each month to help keep Actrix customers up-to-date with what's happening on the Internet, and to help ensure they have every opportunity to benefit from it.

Questions and comments about the Actrix Online Informer can be e-mailed to editor@actrix.co.nz
Other inquiries should be e-mailed to support@actrix.co.nz.

Actrix - New Zealand's first Internet Service Provider

Welcome to the September 2008 Actrix Online Informer!

Welcome to the September Actrix Online Informer. I hope there's something of interest to you this month.

We're continuing our series on scams, and will finish this up next month. Of course scammers have continued to feature in the news and there are several stories in the Cyberspace News Snippets section about this. Almost unbelievably, people are still falling for the the old Nigerian 419 scam (a topic of a couple months ago). I guess they're not reading the Actrix Online Informer! Now it seems that scam is being combined with the online love scam (the topic this month).

If you're a user of Mailwasher or something similar, please have a look at this month's piece asking you not to use the bounce feature.

Rob Zorn

Scams of the Month #3 Online love and dating

The Internet can be a scary place if you're not careful, and it's not just viruses and spyware you have to worry about.  Just like the real world, the Internet has its share of baddies out to steal your cash (and your pride) by combining new technology with age-old confidence tricks.

This month we're carrying on with our series of articles on scams. Last month we covered Phishing, spear-phishing and money mules. This month we'll have a look at Love and dating scams.

Let's start by stating there is nothing wrong with Internet dating sites. Getting to know someone online and eventually forming a romantic relationship with them makes a lot of sense in today's world, especially if you're in a situation where it's not so easy to meet new people. Lots of legitimate dating service websites exist and an increasing number of people have found life-partners using them.

So the point of this article is not to warn people off finding love online. It's more about being careful. For every successful online relationship, there's probably another story about a scammer duping someone into sending them money by posing as would-be girlfriends or boyfriends.

It's really a pretty low thing to do to someone. People who fall for love scams aren't necessarily any sillier than anyone else. Often they're at a low point in their lives (and everyone has those) and they're in the wrong place at a wrong time when they're not thinking as clearly as they normally would. Then there's the fact that love is very rarely rational, which is probably a good thing on the whole or none of us would ever find partners. It does mean, however, that even people who are normally very sensible can do things that seem bewilderingly unwise to those not head over heels.

Anyway, I'm not a love counsellor, so I better stop there.

Typically, an Internet dating scam starts with the scammer registering with an online dating service and creating a profile that includes fictional information about themselves and probably an attractive but fake picture. They'll contact someone through the site (or let themselves be contacted) and express interest in exploring a possible romantic relationship, and in due course the relationship will probably move to private email.

Over time, of course, the scammer will work hard to earn the trust of the victim, and make good use of their con-person's knowledge of human nature. They will know how and when to say just the right things to make themselves as attractive as possible. They will talk about their family and job with enough detail to make them seem like a real person who is genuinely interested in the victim. More photographs may be exchanged and, of course, these are likely to be fake as well. In reality, the scammer may not even be the gender they say they are.

After the scammer has established a 'genuine relationship', they will find some way of asking the victim for money. Commonly they'll claim they want to meet in person but say they can't afford the airfare. Another common one is claiming that there has been a family medical emergency and they need financial help to cope.

If the victim does send money, further requests will be made. Scammers usually know just how far they can push a victim, especially when the victim's judgement has been clouded by possibly blossoming love. Eventually, however, the bubble will burst and the victim will come to realise they have been hoodwinked, perhaps after an increasingly anxious wait at the airport for a 'lover' who never arrived. The scammer will be long gone by now and on to their next victim. In fact, the scammer may be stringing along several victims at the same time.

There are a number of variations on this basic scam. The fraudsters may not ask for money directly. Instead, they may ask their victim to cash money orders or cheques and wire them the proceeds. The money orders or cheques will turn out to be fake or stolen and the victim will be left out of pocket and possibly charged with receiving stolen funds. The scammers may also try to trick victims into revealing sensitive information such as credit card number or bank account log-ins.

Some times love scammers bypass dating sites and simply send out random unsolicited emails professing a desire to begin a relationship. Often these purport to come from women in other countries who need to get away from their own country or who are disillusioned with their local men and want someone who care for and value them truly – someone like you, of course!

I've put a few of the emails I've received from overseas 'women' desperate to fall in love with me here. There are lots of reasons I'm not getting too excited about my new foreign harem. The biggest giveaway was that the sending names on the emails didn't match the names signing them off or the names on the photos. Nataliya, for example wrote to me from an email address for one Jeremiah Gilliam. Olga's email address belonged to a Jonathon Samuel.

Dating sites and chat rooms may be legitimate places to meet people online, but I'd be very careful when it comes to unsolicited emails received. Apparently there are genuine Russian women seeking overseas men, but sorting these from the scammers is going to be difficult.

Another way love scammers may seek contact with victims is through Internet chat rooms. This is where the scam has also become much more high-tech in recent years with the emergence of what are charmingly called 'slutbots'.

CyberLover, for example, is a Russian software robot ("bot" for short - but it's a program, not a physical robot) that poses as a would-be suitor in love or sex chat rooms. Apparently slutbots can conduct automated 'flirtatious' conversations with up to 10 people in 30 minutes, and the poor victims don't even realise their just talking to a piece of software.

They can operate in a number of different personality modes, ranging from 'romantic lover' to 'sexual predator' and are intelligently designed to use dialogue targeted at a wide range of personality types. During 'conversations' slutbots aim to get personal information from correspondents and/or lure them to other websites where they are infected with malicious software.

If you begin corresponding with a person online, whether through a site or a chat room, and a romantic relationship looks on the cards, it is wise to remain cautious no matter how well it all seems to be going. Remember, scammers are very good at coming across as the perfect soul-mate. Try to keep your feelings in check until the person has really proved themselves, and view any requests for money as highly suspicious.

If you have gotten to a relationship stage with someone, you would expect that each of you would remove your profiles from any dating sites. If your new 'significant other' doesn't do that, you'd have to ask yourself why. And, While I hesitate to recommend sneakiness, sending them a message from a different address or getting a friend to contact them through their profile might be a way of gauging just how open they still are to other offers.

Of course the bottom line is using your common sense, but unfortunately that's one of the first things to go out the door where love is concerned. It might therefore be a good idea to discuss any new online relationship with someone you trust.

Back in 2002 we did an article on how to be sensible with love online. Feel free to read All about Internet Dating, though after six years it may be a bit dated. A Google on 'online love advice' or 'internet love' or something is bound to retrieve millions of results.

Next month: a quick roundup of a few lesser known scams before we move onto another topic.

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Why you should not use Mailwasher's bounce feature

Mailwasher comes with a the ability to bounce emails back to spammers in the hope that you'll fool them into thinking your email address is no longer valid. While we agree that doing this leads to a satisfying feeling, we're asking customers using Mailwasher not to use its bounce facility. In reality, there's actually little or no value in doing it, but there are significant drawbacks, and they mostly involve sending bounce e-mails to other innocent parties. Moreover, the fake bounces cause significant headaches for our tech department and the Actrix mail servers when we then get abuse reports of unsolicited bounces.

Here are some points to consider borrowed from Don't use MailWasher's Bounce Facility:

  1. Spammers usually forge return addresses to hide the true origin of the email. This category of spam is probably the largest these days. If you bounce this type of mail, you'll just annoy another innocent victim of the spammer whose email address was forged.
  2. Spam from spammers, who don't try to hide the origin of their mail: If you bounce their mail, they'll get the bounce but they won't necessarily remove you from their list anyway. It's in their interests to have as wide a circulation as possible – it attracts advertisers – so even if they know an address is undeliverable they may still keep it on their list. Another reason they might not remove your address is that they may think the bounce is due to a temporary problem and so they keep your address on the list in case the problem goes away.
  3. Mail from annoying people you don't want to talk to any more: Fair enough, bouncing mail to them may do the trick if they can't tell the difference between a genuine bounce and the forged ones generated by MailWasher.
  4. If the "bounce" itself generates a bounce (quite likely, since the original sender's address may not exist, as mentioned earlier), then all you're doing is generating another bounce for your "bounce" unnecessarily increasing server load. This can become a real issue when lots of people do it.

By all means, use MailWasher to delete mail from your mailbox, but please don't use its bounce facility - you'll only annoy other regular mail users, not the spammers.

Check out this link too. There are instructions there for how to turn off the bouncing facility in a variety of products, not just MailWasher.

Readers' forum 

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send us an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).

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Steve writes: We are currently on a six month trip to the US and UK. When I am using wireless networks I can receive emails directly to outlook but can't send them. Is there a setting I need to change? Thanks, Steve.

Hi Steve, For security reasons, mainly around preventing spam, Actrix only allows access to its outgoing mail server when connected through an Actrix connection. This is a general rule all reputable ISPs follow. When you are connecting to the Internet via another ISP's connection, such as in a wireless hotspot, you would normally need to set your outgoing mail server setting to use the one provided by that ISP.

However, if you're moving about a lot, this could be a real nuisance, so the alternative would be to use Actrix's secure outgoing mail server. This uses a password system to check you're really Steve (and not a spammer) when you're connecting up through another ISP. Setting this up isn't too difficult, and instructions on how to do it with most e-mail clients are available here: www.actrix.co.nz/page.php?id=128. You do not need to change this setting back once you return to New Zealand as it will continue to work regardless of the ISP you are connected with.

If you receive a warning about the secure certificate after you've changed this setting please go to the following page, download the appropriate certificate and follow the instructions to install it: www.actrix.co.nz/page.php?id=237.

If you have any further questions please feel free to get in touch with the helpdesk at support@actrix.co.nz or 0800 228 749 (+64 4 801 5225 from overseas – not a free call).

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Another Steve writes: I've used Ad-Aware for quite a while now. In fact I might have started to use it after a recommendation from this forum. However I have noticed that download times for the definition files have got a lot longer and, for someone like me on dial-up, very slow. In fact it has got so slow that I have stopped updating Ad-Aware, at least until I get around to getting broadband. Rob is there any other reliable free source program like Ad-Aware available that dial up (and broadband) users like myself may use? Particularly interested in something that doesn’t take ages to download when updating.

I'm not sure why Ad Aware should suddenly become significantly slower, but odd things can happen in cyberspace, and there are so many servers and links involved that it can be hard to tell why. The other popular spyware detector and remover is Spybot Search and Destroy which you can download for free at http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html. In fact a lot of people recommend using both these programs as one tends to find what the other misses. But if you're finding Ad Aware is no longer worth the trouble, it is far better that you are at least using an alternative.

Another thing you could consider is moving to a paid program to provide your Internet security such as Norton Internet Security or Trend Micro (and there are others). Because of their more commercial nature, it’s in the interests of program vendors to make these programs as swift, effective and easy to use as possible. In this day and age too, when online activities are so important, the $120 or whatever they cost probably isn't such a bad investment.

You can pick up commercial security programs at any reputable computer store where staff will be able to make recommendations about which one best suits your needs and budget. I'd recommend that over downloading, especially  if you're on dialup.

--

Mike writes: Hi Rob, I'm not sure if you can help with this – it is not so much of a problem to me, but more of an inconvenience to my email recipients. When using Outlook Express, however careful I am to only press *Send* once, most of my email recipients get duplicate copies of my messages. I did think it might be something to do with my Internet Controls/Firewall/Spyware/ Antivirus programme. I use Trend Micro Internet Security, which generally serves me very well.

Jim Breen from Actrix support replies: Hi Mike, This is something that occurs if your Trend Micro Online Filtering Service option is enabled, and a timeout occurs while it checks the email you are sending. To prevent it from occurring you need to disable the Online Filtering Service option. Try the following:

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, or Windows Mail.
  2. Click Trend Micro Anti-Spam then click Settings.
  3. On the Spam Filter tab, uncheck the Submit anonymous data to the Trend Micro Online Filtering Service to double-check incoming messages for spam checkbox.
  4. Click OK.

Note: The Trend Micro Online Filtering Service is a feature that double-checks whether incoming messages are spam or not. Even if it is disabled, the Anti-Spam Toolbar still filters your email for spam and fraudulent messages.

You can find all these instructions online with helpful diagrams at http://esupport.trendmicro.com/support/viewxml.do?ContentID=EN-1036671&id=EN-1036671.

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Interesting sites 

(Click the picture links to access the sites)

Please note: Actrix supplies links to these sites for your interest and possible use. We cannot endorse or take any responsibility for their contents.

Got a site you think would be neat to share with other readers? Click here to e-mail and let me know!

How to survive jail
http://au.askmen.com/money/how_to_300/341_how_to.html – This section of the Ask Men website offers an essay on how to survive if you find yourself in the slammer. It's based on American jails, of course, but the realities here are probably reasonably similar. Even if they're not, it still makes for an interesting read in a 'queasy' sort of way.
The music Lists
http://digitaldreamdoor.nutsie.com/pages/music0.html – Lists like these are lots of fun. The site's aim is to "provide a source of information and debate to help guide you to discover new and better musicians, bands, albums, and songs." But I just like reading the opinions of others and disagreeing with them vehemently. There are heaps and heaps of lists.
How magicians control your mind
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/08/03/how_magicians_control_your_mind – "Magic isn't just a bag of tricks – it's a finely-tuned technology for shaping what we see. Now researchers are extracting its lessons."

The movie spoiler
www.themoviespoiler.com/ – Here you can find out the plot (including the ending) of just about any movie. You get the whole film in a quick five minute read. This has several uses. You'll be able to lie convincingly about having seen any movie without having to fork over the money for tickets, you can check what happened in movies that confused you or where you've missed the ending of a video because you fell asleep on the sofa. The older you get, the more this last one becomes a reality! And if you want some brutally honest reviews of the movies you've read, try here: www.rottentomatoes.com.
CUIL search engine
www.cuil.com/ – Cuil is the new search engine everybody's talking about. Supposedly it is three times larger than Google and 10 times larger than Microsoft with an extra billion indexed sites. The site says it would prefer to analyse the Web rather than users, so it doesn't collect data about you and your habits, "lest we are tempted to peek." Cuil is an old Irish word for knowledge.
Google cheat sheets
www.google.com/help/cheatsheet.html – While we're on the subject of search engines, here's a quick list of some of Google's most popular tools to help refine and improve your searches. There are a number of ways you can enter strings to make the results more relevant and helpful.
Afraid to ask
www.afraidtoask.com/ – "Have you ever had a medical question that you were too embarrassed to ask a friend, family member, or even your doctor? Unlike most healthcare web sites, afraidtoask.com offers in-depth information that will give you a better understanding of highly personal health issues." Some nasty pictures – but shown in a helpful, non-gratuitous way.
What's that stuff?
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/whatstuff/stuff.html – "Ever wondered about what's really in hair colouring, Silly Putty, artificial snow, beer, honey bowling balls or raincoats? No, me either – until I saw this page. Chemical and Engineering News presents a collection of articles that gives you a look at the chemistry behind a wide variety of everyday products.
Do you believe in God?
www.yesnogod.com/ – Whether or not God exists has long been an interesting question. In recent centuries the question has been the source of much controversy. Here's your chance to have your say and add either a 'yes' or 'no' vote into the mix. The site updates its regional tally each time someone votes providing the number of voters for each region as well as the yes or no percentages. You might be surprised at some of the totals from around the world!
Hobo signs and symbols
www.slackaction.com/signroll.htm – "Some hobos now communicate via cellular phones and e-mail. But the classic American hobo of early this century communicated through a much more basic system of marks – a code through which they gave information and warnings to their fellow 'Knights of the Road'. Usually, these signs would be written in chalk or coal on a trestle, fence, building or sidewalk, letting others know what they could expect in the area of the symbol. [Here] are a number of these hobo signs. See if you can figure out what each one means... When you move your cursor over the image, the answer will magically appear."

 

Cyberspace news snippets

What's been happening in the online world?

New Zealand

Fake doctor's notes for sale over internet: Workers who pull a sickie are buying fake medical certificates over the internet in the name of their doctor. The site sells "professional-looking" fake notes and certificates from New Zealand general practitioners, "on official doctor's notepaper, with a doctor's stamp". Click here for more.

Life without Web virtually impossible: Studies have revealed our love-hate relationship with the Internet, with most unable to imagine life without it – except for the 16 percent who have never ventured online. Click here for more.

Web networks reduce degrees of separation: The theory of six degrees of separation - that everyone is only six introductions away from any other person in the world – appears to be real – but Kiwis may be separated by only two. Click here for more.

Kiwi children becoming 'complicit sex victims' online: New Zealand children as young as 12 are willingly sending inappropriate images of themselves to adults contacted on the internet, a conference has been told. Click here for more.

Internet giant upsets privacy groups: Privacy groups are keeping a close eye on internet giant Google as it prepares to publish images of thousands of Kiwi homes on its Street View website. Click here for more.

Google snaps liars, cheaters and slackers: A day after its launch, Google's Australian Street View has already uncovered a lying neighbour, sprung a cheating spouse and snapped a man sleeping on the job, as armchair explorers pick apart the invasive new mapping tool. Click here for more.

Internet traffic changes road rules: Once, a used car dealer bought from the average Joe, who didn't know what the wholesale price of the car was and sold to another average Joe, who didn't know what the retail price was. The difference was money in the bank. Not any more. Websites like TradeMe have changed the rules. Click here for more.

F-word gets Whakatane censored in cyberspace: The pronunciation of "Whakatane" and its close proximity to the offensive F-word word has seen the town censored in cyberspace. A visiting tourist was astounded that he could not search for "Whakatane" on the district council's own online service, because the word was considered vulgar. Click here for more.

Nearly two million subscribers online in NZ: The latest figures from Statistics New Zealand show 1.5 million subscribers are now hooked up to the internet and most have broadband. Click here for more.

Naked New Zealand?: The OneGeology project aims to develop an internet-based map of our naked world – Earth stripped of flora and man-made additions to reveal its underlying geology. Click here for more.

Free.nz is the domain name of the game: Internet New Zealand held its annual meeting recently. You probably didn't hear about it. Just a bunch of people from across the political spectrum sitting in a room talking about stuff most of us now take for granted. Click here for more.

Kiwis lead the world online: New Zealanders may complain about high rates and slow connections but recent studies show we are world leaders in internet use. Click here for more.

No sex please, we're Kiwis: Internet users are game-playing music lovers who like to keep in touch with friends, seek out a bargain and weather watch. At least that's the profile gleaned from a new analysis tool from internet giant Google, Insights for Search, launched this month. Click here for more.

General

The power of female blogging: According to comScore Media Metrix, community based women's websites are now tied with political sites as the fastest growing category online. Blogging is about giving women a voice and sense of community many said. "Today, women are not only the most powerful consumers in the world, we're also the power users of Web 2.0 and social media technologies," said Lisa Stone, BlogHer co-founder. Click here for more.

Rebuilding the Internet from scratch: A massive project to redesign and rebuild the Internet from scratch is inching along with $12 million in government funding and donations of network capacity by two major research organizations. Click here for more.

Beijing Games Hit by Internet Ticket Scam: Sports fans around the world have been swindled by an international Internet scam which offered thousands of bogus tickets for the Beijing Games, Olympic officials say. Click here for more.

'Lord' puts life up for sale on eBay: An eccentric millionaire has put his entire life up for sale on the Internet – including his title of Lord of the Manor of Warleigh – in the hope of converting his assets into cash. Click here for more.

Students take online revenge on teachers: Students are taking a high-tech approach to revenge on teachers - assuming their identities in fake online profiles and putting doctored photographs of them on the internet. Click here for more.

Anthrax 'rogue scientist' also Wikipedia cult member: Bruce Ivins, the deceased US government bioscientist accused of perpetrating the infamous 2001 anthrax mailings, was also a closet member of the online cult known as Wikipedia. Click here for more.

China: World's biggest Web population: China says its fast-growing population of Internet users has surpassed the United States to become the world's biggest, with 253 million people on-line at the end of June. Click here for more.

Filesharing teen gets damages reduced in ignorance claim: A 16-year-old girl has successfully argued that she was too young to understand that her copyright-infringing downloading of music was unlawful. A US court said she will only have to pay $200 per song downloaded instead of the $750 demanded in the case. Click here for more.

The site that allows students to mark their lecturers: Some of the comments are controversial. One tutor is described as: "Arrogant, rude, unhelpful and supremely egotistical. His specialist field is himself." Another is damned with: "Ignores her students mostly, a very false personality and especially when handing out praise. Incredibly patronising and not very bright." Click here for more.

Alleged Brazilian botnet herder faces US extradition: Leni de Abreu Neto, 35, of Taubate, Brazil, allegedly maintained and leased access to a 100,000-strong botnet network of compromised PCs that he subsequently attempted to sell, according to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in New Orleans. Click here for more.

Online student-teacher friendships can be tricky: Randy Turner knows there's a huge gap in age and technology between him and his adolescent students. So when the 52-year-old set up a MySpace page and his students began asking to add him as a friend and sending him questions about assignments, he realized he was on to something. Click here for more.

Google may let users comment on, rearrange search results: Google is considering allowing users of its search engine to tinker with query results by re-ranking them and commenting on them. Click here for more.

Dead Sea Scrolls go from parchment to the Internet: More than 2,000 years after they were written, the Dead Sea Scrolls are going digital as part of an effort to better preserve the ancient texts and let more people see them than ever before. Click here for more.

Security and Safety

Rich data: the dark side to Web 2.0 applications: All web applications allow some form of rich data, but that rich data has become a key part of Web 2.0. Data is "rich" if it allows markup, special characters, images, formatting, and other complex syntax. This richness allows users create new and innovative content and services. Unfortunately, richness affords attackers an unprecedented opportunity to bury attacks targeting users and systems downstream of the offending application or service supplier. Click here for more.

Lonely hearts warned of 'money mules' scam: Lonely hearts and dating website users could be unwittingly enlisted as 'money mules' by international money laundering rings. People answering seemingly legitimate job or dating ads can be stung by the scam, the Australian Federal Police and Australian Bankers Association warn. Click here for more.

Credit card cybertheft will still 'flourish' say experts: US authorities are calling it the largest hacking and identity theft case yet. But this week's indictments of 11 people who allegedly plundered millions of payment card numbers might not seriously dent the underworld where such crimes occur. Click here for more.

Net address bug worse than feared: A recently found flaw in the internet's addressing system is worse than first feared, says the man who found it. Click here for more.

Children 'meet online strangers': One in five British children has met a stranger they first encountered online, a survey suggests. And as many as one in four 8-12 year olds ignore age restrictions to use social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. Click here for more.

Web scammers keep fleecing Aussies: Australians lose at least A$36 million ($44.6 million) a year to so-called Nigerian scammers via the internet. Click here for more.

Lonely Kiwis targeted by scammers: Nigerian scammers are "fleecing" money off lonely, vulnerable Kiwis, with false promises of marriage or vast sums of money at a later date, police said. Click here for more.

Jail 'greedy' scam victims – diplomat: Australia's Nigerian high commissioner says people who are ripped off by so-called Nigerian scams are just as guilty as the fraudsters and should be jailed. Click here for more.

Mainly Microsoft

Gates speaks of software-writing revolution: Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said Tuesday that the dramatic growth of the Internet would eventually help eliminate "the last constraints we have" and spark a software-writing revolution. Click here for more.

Microsoft prepares for end of Windows: The future vision is of an internet-centric operating system that uses virtualisation. Click here for more.

Web browser to get 'privacy mode': By clicking a button, users of IE8 will be able to limit how much information is recorded about where they go online and what they do. Click here for more.

Mac the News

Tardy Apple finally releases DNS patch: Apple has finally gotten around to defending against a high-profile Domain Name System flaw, days after security researchers called it out for dragging its heels on releasing a patch. Click here for more.

Unix, Linux and Open Source

Behind the scenes of Firefox 3.0: There is a clear sense of anticipation building at the Mozilla Foundation's headquarters in Mountain View, California where engineers have been working for the past 34-36 months perfecting Firefox 3.0. Click here for more.

Will Design Flaws Flunk Firefox?: The open source Mozilla Firefox Web browser is potentially at risk from design flaws that could allegedly let attackers take whatever they want from users' computers. Radware Security researcher Itzik Kotler is alleging that he can exploit Mozilla Firefox, and he's going to demonstrate how at Black Hat. Click here for more.

The Weird, Wide Web

Research firm emails 20,000 addresses in the clear: We've almost got bored of stories about people sending emails to lots of subscribers without using the BCC field, but not when the mail is sent to 20,000 people. Today's doofus is investor research company Digital Look. It sent a mail yesterday morning which revealed 22,129 email addresses. Whoops. Click here for more.

The 90-year-old Aussie love doctor: Lionel Jacobs may have been born more than three decades before the first computer, but that hasn't stopped the tech-savvy Sydneysider from joining the social networking craze and becoming an online love doctor. Click here for more.

Woman tries to kidnap former 'virtual' boyfriend: A woman who fell in love with the online persona of a man in the virtual world Second Life has been charged in the United States with trying to kidnap him. Click here for more.

It was five years ago today

Each month we dredge through our archives to pull out stories from the Actrix Newsletter of exactly five years ago. Sometimes these stories will show just how much the net has changed in such a short time, and sometimes they'll be included just because they're interesting.

Re: The false spam you requested: The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a finding that probably won't come as a shock to many computer users: Two-thirds of spam contains false information. Click here for more.

Experts anxious over possible Web attack: Seeing a rise in hacker activity that could be a prelude to a broad Internet attack, security experts Thursday urged computer users to protect their machines by installing a free patch offered by Microsoft. Click here for more.

Attack of the mutant internet worms: Internet worms that spread themselves through corporate networks or e-mail programs, wreaking havoc on thousands of computers, are growing faster, smaller and more virulent, a security expert has said. One theoretical attack could be so-called "flash worms" designed to spread across the Internet in as little as 15 seconds by splitting themselves into ever smaller pieces to infect as many computers as possible, Jonathan Wignall, chairman of the U.K.'s Data and Network Security Council warned. Click here for more.

Bringing it all back home

Rob ZornThanks again for reading the Actrix Online Informer. Feedback can be sent to me via the e-mail address listed below. Please limit this to comments/suggestions regarding the newsletter. Non-forum requests for support should go to the Actrix Help Desk (support@actrix.co.nz) or to the Accounts Department (accounts@actrix.co.nz).

Take care and keep warm through September and enjoy spring!

Rob Zorn
editor@actrix.co.nz
http://editor.actrix.co.nz 

 

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